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Historical Anthem: Confederate States of America - Dixie

   
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"Dixie," also known as "Dixie's Land," "I Wish I Was in Dixie," and other titles, is a popular American song. It is one of the most distinctively American musical products of the 19th century, and probably the best-known song to have come out of blackface minstrelsy. Although not a folk song at its creation, "Dixie" has since entered the American folk vernacular. The song likely cemented the word "Dixie" in the American vocabulary as a toponym for the Southern United States. Although most sources credit Ohio-born Daniel Decatur Emmett with the song's composition, other people have claimed to have composed "Dixie," even during Emmett's lifetime. Compounding the problem of definitively establishing the song's authorship are Emmett's own confused accounts of its writing, and his tardiness in registering the song's copyright. The latest challenge has come on behalf of the Snowden Family of Knox County, Ohio, who may have collaborated with Emmett to write "Dixie." The song originated in the blackface minstrel shows of the 1850s and quickly became popular across the United States. It tells the story of a homesick southerner. During the American Civil War, "Dixie" was adopted as a de facto anthem of the Confederacy. New versions appeared at this time that more explicitly tied the song to the events of the Civil War. Since the advent of the Civil Rights Movement, many have identified the lyrics of the song with the iconography and ideology of the Old South. Today, "Dixie" is sometimes considered offensive, and its critics link the act of singing it to sympathy for slavery or racial separation in the American South. Its supporters, on the other hand, view it as a legitimate aspect of Southern culture and heritage and the campaigns against it as political correctness. The song was a favorite of President Abraham Lincoln; he had it played at some of his political rallies and at the announcement of General Robert E. Lee's surrender. Movies: Gettysburg, Gods and Generals

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